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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020
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BreastCheck screened 4,500 more women in 2011 despite 'challenging year'

In its12th year of operation, the screening service checked 125,329 women.

BREASTCHECK, IRELAND’S NATIONAL Breast Screening Programme, screened over 4,500 more women in 2011 than in 2010.

In its BreastCheck Programme Report for 2011-2012, which detailed the service’s progress in its 12th year (it started in February 2000), 125,329 women were checked in 2011.

The service offers a free mammogram every two years to women aged 50 to 64. It is hoped, via ‘Future Health – A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015′, that this age range will increase to 69 from 2014.

Overall, 72.2 per cent of those who received invitations attended, which exceeded the programme target of 70 per cent. 5,242 women were re-called for assessment, with 832 women diagnosed as having breast cancer – representing 6.6 cancers per 1,000 women screened.

While 832 makes for sombre reading, a spokesperson from the National Cancer Screening Service told TheJournal.ie that the diagnosis resulted in each of these women “being given an extension of life”.

The chart below outlines the progress made in 2011. For a larger image, please click here.

(Image: BreastCheck – Programme Report 2011-2012)

The Director of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), Dr Susan O’Reilly, said that despite 2011 having been “a challenging year”, the programme continued to surpass its target uptake of 70 per cent.

Where a diagnosis was made, 87.2 per cent of women were admitted to hospital for treatment within three weeks. This was just below the Women’s Charter standard that the BreastCheck programme compares itself against.

(Image: BreastCheck – Programme Report 2011-2012)

In its 12 years in existence up until the end of 2011, the service had provided 835,598 mammograms to 371,208 women and detected 5,484 cancers.

Every eligible woman can avail of the BreastCheck programme, and friends are encouraged to get those who are eligible to make an appointment and to attend when invited.

To get added to the register, BreastCheck can be contacted on the freephone number 1800 45 45 55 or via the web www.breastcheck.ie.

Read: Daffodil Day campaign aims to raise €3.4m >

Column: ‘I was in work one day and diagnosed with cancer the next’ >

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Paul Hyland

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